Words: Elana Meyer
The Cape Town Marathon has secured a major new naming rights sponsorship from financial services giant Sanlam. The sponsorship will allow the marathon – renamed the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon with immediate effect – to fast-track its plans of being classified as Africa’s first World Marathon Majors (WMM) race and in the process boost city tourism by attracting athletes from around the globe.
Yegs Ramiah, Chief Executive: Sanlam Brand, says that Sanlam is delighted at the opportunity to be the official headline sponsor of the Cape Town Marathon. “Sanlam is pleased to sponsor an event that places Cape Town and our continent on the global stage alongside famous marathon cities such as Boston, New York, Tokyo and London. As a diversified financial services player with an extensive footprint into 11 African countries, we take pride in creating an opportunity for international athletes to compete in a global event on the continent, in particular African athletes.
“The sport of running is easily accessible and within everyone’s means and by its very nature requires determination, dedication and the belief that a lot can come from very little. Just like wealth creation, a craft that we as a company are more familiar with, the sport of running is a journey without an end, the joy and value of which are unqualified. We truly believe that an event such as this will have a real and positive influence by enabling people to live their best possible lives.
“We look forward to a long and positive association with the Cape Town Marathon and wish all the participants success come race-day.”
South African long-distance Olympic medalist Elana Meyer, spokesperson for The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and member of its EXCO says they have the support of and presence at the race of IAAF and will now apply for Silver Label classification. After that, the potential for this race will be immeasurable. “We are extremely pleased to have a leading financial services group like Sanlam working with us to realise the potential of this very special event.”
Relaunched in February 2014, under a joint partnership agreement between the City of Cape Town, Western Province Athletics (WPA) and ASEM Running, the 42.2km race will provide the culmination of a three-day long ‘Festival of Running’ in Africa’s Mother City, which unfolds as a 10km Peace Run, a 4.2km Peace Run, two Peace Trail Runs, a Peace Relay and a Peace Mile Race. Elana Meyer and Rugby World Cup 1995 winning captain, Francois Pienaar, have joined forces to present this event and drive the vision of the Cape Town Marathon becoming one of the WMM.
“We offer contestants the largest sum of prize money for a South African standard marathon, with cash prizes exceeding R1.6-million, which is in line with international city marathon benchmarks and a requirement to be considered for WMM and IAAF membership,” says Meyer.
The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be over a race weekend on 20 and 21 September 2014.
In June this year, the listed South African financial services group celebrated its 96th birthday, unveiling a refreshed brand identity, including a brand new pay-offline, titled Wealthsmiths. The group’s modernised brand more accurately reflects Sanlam, as it is today – a global, fully diversified financial services group, operating in 11 countries across Africa, as well as in India, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and business interests in the USA and Australia.
The family of six Major events include: Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon.